It's Not Just Doughnuts | Teen Ink

It's Not Just Doughnuts

April 19, 2021
By rw35, Centennial, Colorado
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rw35, Centennial, Colorado
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Author's note:

This peice is fully fiction and not based on any real events.

It was two thirty A.M and Jared was already awake. The nausea caused by last night's mistakes were hitting him like a bullet train. His entire body ached, but he allowed himself to finally sit up straight. Rubbing his eyes gently he let out a sigh and moved like a zombie towards the closet to pull out his bright red work shirt. Next he grabbed his blue jeans and pulled them up his stick like legs. Pulling up his shirt he starred in the mirror at the round tummy that was forming just above the waistline of his jeans. 

“I got to lay off the late night snacks,” He mumbled to himself. He grabbed his hat, wallet, and keys off the bed side table and stumbled out of his bedroom. There on the couch his mother lay, bottle in hand, softly snoring. 

“Morning mom,” He whispered while laying a soft kiss on her forehead. He crept slowly and quietly out the door so as to not disturb her. The soft snow squeaked under his non-slip work shoes and he stumbled across the large front yard to his car. He stuck the key in the door and unlocked it. Aggressively he yanked out his snow scraper and brushed the snow off the windows and doors revealing the gray color of his 1990 CR-V. Finally he got back inside, turned the radio all the way up and flew away like a blur down the street. 

Pulling up to a doughnut shop at three in the morning was never anything special. It was silent outside, the only sounds were Jared’s own breath as he nervously rushed himself inside. Pushing his way through the swinging doors there she stood. Surrounded by the extremely sweet smell of donut glaze and covered in it, was a five foot seven, green eyed girl. Her brown hair tied tightly in a bun and her glasses covered in grease. Jared gave her a quick smile as he punched in his time card. 

“JAREDDDDDD!!” She excitedly screamed. Her smile beaming as she practically ran over to him. Jared blushed as he watched her approach. To him, she was everything good the world had to offer. The best part of his day. 

“Morning Marie,” Jared finally replied. He could feel his stomach in knots as she stood less than a foot away from him. She began droning on about the other workers and how they had been, far from helpful all morning. He loved watching her speak. The way her eyes light up and form different emotions. Her hands and arms flailing around in the most organized and energetic way. Her lips create the sounds that he never wanted to forget. He felt like he was on fire when she was around. 

“Anyway, I think it is time you finally learn how to make the donuts and run the line,” Marie said as Jared finally fully tuned back in to what she was saying. 

“Yeah, no problem.” Jared replied in a way to monotone a voice. 

“Come on, you gotta be a little excited,” She said. “You come into my office once a day just to complain about how you feel like you lack purpose as a cashier, so here I am, giving you a purpose Mr. Pessimist.” Marie said, gently nudging Jared with her elbow. Jared stood for a moment with her in silence. 

“ I know, just, it was a long night with my family,” Jared finally broke the silence. 

“Do you wanna talk about it?’ Marie asked with a concerned look. 

“You know my dad, It’s just he’s never happy with the household. He thinks he does all the work and that we do nothing.” Jared paused and looked at Marie, nervous to continue. “ He took it all out on my mom last night and I put myself between them to protect her, that was a mistake on my part.” Jared finished nervously laughing. Marie stood for a second contemplating her repy. 

“Follow me.” She finally said walking over to the donut machine. “When I'm babysitting the donuts making sure they form right, I follow each batch down the line. Talking to them encourages them.” 

“What is the point of that?” Jared asked, a little disappointed that Marie had nothing to say about his prior statement. 

“Well you see I give them as much love as I possibly can.” She said.

“ I’m still not seeing the point Marie, It’s just doughnuts.” Jared replied. 

“It’s not just doughnuts Jared, for some people it's a reward, it's the thing they spend their whole day waiting for.” Marie continued, “Others may look at them as just meaningless doughnuts, something that means nothing, or does nothing. I see them as special. They have different meanings to each customer that walks through these doors, so I continue to give them love and put the time into making them perfect. To me they are worth that and I know that others see that in them too. Some people will take one bite and throw them away like they are nothing because they can’t see the beauty or the love inside them. Do you see what i’m saying?” Marie questioned. Jared stared blankly lost as to what she was trying to say. 

“ I- I’m trying to.” He finally replied. 

“I encourage them, and put my love into them so that when the people who do see them for what they are get to them, they are able to be their extra special selves.” Marie said. 

“ I think I'm still lost.” Jared said, staring deeply into her eyes. 

“ One day, you’ll see what I was saying. I can tell by the look on your face you think I have disregarded your feelings, but when you get to overthink this conversation later, like I know you inevitably will, I think you will understand what I was trying to say to you.” Marie responded. “Now give me a hug, I am sending you home for the rest of the day because no one should have to run any part of this restaurant with a black eye.” 

“Thank you.” Jared said wrapping his arms tightly around Marie. 

“I care about you, alot.” Marie said. “Get some rest.”

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